No one seems to be talking about the $2,000 per worker tax on employers, to begin in 2014. Enacted as part of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it will be levied on firms with 50 or more employees who do not offer the right kind of health insurance to their workers.

Millions of Americans are looking for work, and the number in poverty, 46.2 million, is the highest since the Census Bureau began compiling poverty data 52 years ago.

Although the tax will not take effect until 2014, businesses are adjusting now. They are not stupid, they plan ahead.

Congress intended to exempt businesses with few workers from the new tax, but the new law made no provision for franchise businesses, small businesses that are part of a group of businesses whose combined employment might reach 50 or more.

Price WaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm, has estimated that 828,000 franchise establishments in America account for more than $468 billion of GDP and more than 9 million jobs, based on data from the Census Bureau.

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